Intercultural Dialogue Institute – Ottawa held its 10th Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner on the theme, “Social Cohesion and Responsible Citizenship”. Emceed by Ms. Jenna Sudds, Executive Director of Kanata North BIA, the event brought together politicians, City Councillors, bureaucrats, academics, community leaders, faith leaders, business leaders, media representatives, NGOs, and many others. The program commenced with greeting messages of the Hon. Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and Mayor Jim Watson. After the opening remarks by Mr. Vusal Babashov, Executive Director of IDI-Ottawa, Mr. Mark Taylor, Deputy Mayor for Ottawa offered his welcome remarks to the diverse audience. The evening proceeded with dinner and dessert, where community members from across Ottawa networked and created dialogue. Guests also enjoyed a video produced by IDI about what Canadians believe to be social cohesion and responsible citizenship.
The event marked its summit with the keynote speech presented by Mr. Andrew Potter, editor of the Ottawa Citizen and author of The Rebel Sell and The Authenticity Hoax. Mr. Potter discussed the role of the media in creating an environment of social cohesion and put forward his personal experiences and the views of scholars in regard to multiculturalism in the Canadian context. Guests then took pleasure in listening to a live performance by Juliane Brazeau, after which the 2015 Excellence in Community Service Awards were presented to Michael Allen, President & CEO, United Way Ottawa and to Larry Martin, Retired Teacher, both who demonstrated great commitment and involvement in the community and demonstrated values of responsible citizenship.
The program ended with a family photo and warm discussions as individuals got ready to leave and appreciate some of the thoughtful dialogue that emerged throughout the program of the evening.